How to Install Power on Vacant Land
So, you have finally found the perfect piece of undeveloped land for exactly what you want to use it for, and now you are thinking, “what is my next step?” Well, you have come to the right place because most likely you are going to need power on your land, and you will need to know the ins and outs of how to install power on vacant land.
In order to make your vacant land a place where you can actually live or have some sort of business, installing power will be necessary. It is important to research and see if the vacant land you are looking at is capable of having power. This involves a lot of questions and sometimes it is hard to know everything. We would like to go over some steps for getting your land to a livable state.
Pricing and Connecting to the Grid
Of course, like most things, the pricing of installing power on vacant land will depend on the location of the land as well as what you need to use the power for. If you are close to public utility connections, it may be less expensive. Make sure you are aware of any private property with utility connections because that will require you to ask permission.
We can take guesses and research, but the only way to truly know how much installing power on your land will cost you is to get in touch with a local contractor. Once you get an idea of how much it will be to get in touch with the local power company, you can compare it to wind and solar power prices as well. We know that wind energy is difficult to have for running a home or business. However, solar energy can definitely produce enough energy for what you need. Sometimes wind and solar energy can have a higher resell value as well if you are thinking about that in the future.
Before you “connect to the grid” or what can be explained as, connecting to the local power company, you should make sure to know a couple things. It is important to know whether or not your powerlines will be running overhead in the air, or underground. This can be helpful to know in case you need to discuss with a neighbor or ask permission with nearby landowners. Make sure that you do not take any steps before you ask permission, it can cause a headache!
Next, try to find out if the vacant land area is subject to blackouts or even brownouts. In general, this is just good to know in order for you can plan ahead. Another tip to remember is to be sure whether or not you will need a backup generator. Sometimes the local power company is not the best option for your vacant land and these questions are great ways to find out if it is a good idea.
Permanent Power vs Portable Generators
You may be wondering, “if I can get permanent power, why would I even think about temporary power?” Sometimes it can be a better option depending on the situation of your vacant land. Permanent power can be very expensive and much more difficult if you are not near a site where you can connect. For example, the cost of connecting to power can range from $25 to $50 per foot. That means if you are two feet away, it may work. But, if you are a mile away, that price can jump up to a total of $250,000. That is a lot of money, so it is good to have other options.
Portable power can be a great option for you if cost is a factor or if it just becomes way too difficult to install utility lines. We like to make things as simple as possible, right? It is also just an excellent idea to have a backup generator in case of a power outage, or even later down the line, you can use your generator for something else. We call that a long-term investment!
So, let’s talk about purchasing a generator. You will want to research how many watts you will need. For example, if you are using it for a household, you will be able to research how many watts your appliances use and go from there. You can also ask utility professionals questions and they will be able to point you in the right direction for exactly what you are using your power for. Keep in mind, the higher the wattage, the higher the cost of the portable generator. To have an idea on the average cost, you may be able to find a 3,600 watts generator for $400.
One big question to ask yourself and whoever will be around the generator would be, can you tolerate a loud noise? Generators tend to be loud and if you do not do well with lawnmowers or chainsaws, then a generator may push your buttons. There are options if you cannot handle the noise that comes with a portable generator. You can find things called inverter generators. Inverter generators are typically cleaner, safer and quiet. So, they may be beneficial for certain appliances depending on what kinds you are using. However, they come with almost double the price tag compared to regular generators.
Temporary Utility Power
If you are thinking that you cannot handle the noise that comes with a generator or you are worried about it running out of gas often, think about temporary service from the utility line. It is cheaper than permanent utility power and can be the best option if you are building a home on your vacant land. You will have to start off with a generator just until the power is up and running. Most of the time, the contractors you work with will have one.
Temporary power from a utility line will most likely require a new pole and a transformer. The pole will attach to outlets that are connected to a cable that then comes down the pole into a breaker. You will, of course, have to install outlets and breakers in your home to have accessibility. Your contractor and the utility company will know how to handle that.
With that being said, having temporary power from utility lines can be an option for you and is important to think about if you are building.
Wind and Solar Power
Land investors lean towards wind and solar energy because you can potentially earn a profit. With this kind of energy, you have the opportunity to provide energy back to electric companies. These two sources of energy are the least expensive to get started. The best part about these options is that they don’t need power to operate! They produce energy from the sun and wind. The best type of land to have both of these is the desert because the sun is shining all day and it is windy at night. Not a lot of people live in the desert, so there are plenty of other locations you will be able to use.
Solar energy is better on flat land with more than 25 acres for commercial purposes. If you are just using solar energy for your home, you will produce enough energy with less than 25 acres. Flat land that doesn’t have a lot of forest area is perfect for wind turbines. Keep in mind that they can be noisy for your neighbors. You can fit one turbine on one acre of developed land, but it is recommended that you have several!
You will notice that all of these options require you to research and ask the professionals. You may be in a completely different boat if you are just having a campsite then you would be if you are building a house or a business. Getting the right information before purchasing vacant land is a plus, but if you have already purchased and you are ready to connect to power, there will most likely be an option for you!
Discount Lots is happy to answer any questions we can along the way to finding the perfect vacant land for you. The locations we offer land in will also have resources for research. Whatever you do, be safe and smart when you are installing power on your vacant land.
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